Maharashtra Minister of Urban Development and Public Works Eknath Shinde on Friday said that Central government should inoculate the citizens free of cost. "Central government takes care of all state governments. They should bear the expenses for COVID-19 vaccine, this is the suitable expectation of people," said the Shiv Sena leader.
Earlier, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope also stated that the COVID-19 vaccination drive must be sponsored by the Centre. "We had a meeting with Union Health Min. We insisted that the COVID vaccination drive must be sponsored by GoI. We also pointed out all lacunae in maintaining cold storage of vaccines. We're ready to execute inoculation drive whenever it is instructed," said Tope.
Even if the vaccine costs Rs 500, Tope said that poor people won't be able to afford it. "I am of the opinion that the Centre should bear the cost of purchasing the vaccines and supplying them to Maharashtra. Poor people can still find it difficult to pay Rs 500 for a vaccine," he said. "If the Centre does not take any step regarding our expectation, then chief minister and deputy chief minister will take appropriate steps on this front," he added.
Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Friday said the government is in the process of ensuring vaccination of all and the drive will start soon. He said India has developed two anti-coronavirus vaccines which have been sanctioned for emergency use and this has happened within a year after the COVID-19 pandemic broke in the country.
(With IANS inputs)